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Pakistan rest key players including Sarfraz for Australia series

With World Cup right around the corner and after an exhaustive five months of cricket, Pakistan have rested five vital players including the captain Sarfraz Ahmed for the Australia series.

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Shoaib Malik is once again set to lead Pakistan as five players including Sarfraz has been rested for the series. The five-match ODI series begins on March 22.

For understanding performance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Umar Akmal, along with Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, and Yasir Shah has been recalled to the national squad. Mohammad Hafeez and Hussain Talat have been left out as they are yet to recover from their injuries.

Inzamam ul Haq, chairman of the national selection committee said on Friday

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“The changes have been made taking into consideration the player workload in the build up to the World Cup,” said Inzamam ul Haq, chairman of the national selection committee, on Friday (March 8).

“Apart from five ODIs against Australia, we have three warm-up games followed by five ODIs against England. This is too much cricket in a short period of time. Had there been no pre-World Cup matches in England, then we would not have made these many changes.”

Inzamam also explained the reason behind recalling Umar Akmal

“Umar Akmal, we all know, is immensely talented and still has plenty to offer. Sometimes, time away from international cricket allows a player to recompose and gather himself, and come back strongly. I hope this happens with this player, as a fully fit and in-form Umar will bolster the middle-order,” he concluded.

SQUAD: Shoaib Malik (c), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah.

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